In order to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, countries all around the world had to enter a form of lockdown, with movement of people similarly limited in a bid to flatten the curve of infections. However the manner in which each country enforced the lockdown differed. India had entered a strict form of lockdown as the number of cases continued to spike on a regular basis. Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri believes India’s strict lockdown hindered the players as they were unable to keep themselves as fit or match ready as would have been ideal.
“If you remember the lockdown in India, nobody could move out. Barring players who were lucky to be in smaller towns, with large houses, who could’ve had access to private open areas. But in cities like Mumbai, Delhi - everybody was locked inside their houses or apartments. It was extremely torturous," he told Times of India.
“They also landed up in England for the white-ball series and there was exposure. Whereas, until we landed here, it was only the IPL that allowed our players to enter the field," Shastri added.
Shastri further went on to talk about how gruelling the team found it during the 14-day quarantine when they landed in Australia, describing the experience as ‘strict’ before adding that empathy was key to dealing with this.
“When I started the team meetings - after landing in Australia - I had only one thing in mind: empathy. It was a strict 14-day quarantine, and we were locked up in our rooms. The only time we would get to see each other was when warm-ups gradually started.
“We knew it was going to be tough. After the ODIs, I told the players ‘it’s okay, take it easy. But be observant. Getting into the mix of it was important. By the third one-dayer, things got calmer."
The first Test between India and Australia will take place at Adelaide from December 17 onwards. It will be a day-night affair, marking the first time that India will play a pink ball Test Down Under.